Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Dr Rodger Samuel said yesterday a lot of foundation work was being done on the Red House, the original seat of Parliament.
While he did not give the exact cost, Samuel said the work will most likely be completed “within the next two years”.
Accompanied by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Joycelyn Hunte, St Augustine campus lecturer/archaeologist Dr Basil Reid and Neil Jaggessar, Samuel toured the Red House at St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.
UDeCOTT is supervising the restoration and renovation project, which began in 2011. Since then, Parliament has shifted to Tower D at the International Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.
Giving an update on the work, Samuel said: “From an architectural standpoint, they are beginning to do a lot of work. There was a lot of change done in the 1970s and 1980s and every change has been to the development of the Red House. It was two buildings and now it is being developed to establish the foundation part. The Red House has stood the test of time. Essentially, it is sturdy.
“The work will be on the foundation level ... the foundation cannot be fragile. The work will move from level to level. They will continue the work. It is one of the heritage buildings.”
Asked about the completion date, Samuel said: “I don’t want to give the exact figure. As you begin to excavate and to move, it might incur more costs.”
In April 2013, human bone fragments, estimated to be the remains of about four people, were discovered under the Red House during the restoration work.
On the issue of the archaeological findings, Samuel said: “The findings are good to the history of Trinidad and the Tobago.”